Dec 22, 2012 10:00am EST
think it was on friday -- in which unnamed u.s. officials were suggesting that morsi might have learned from the last couple of weeks that winner take all is not the way to go and that he needs to reach out to his political opponents. do you think that the brotherhood understands this referendum as in part a referendum on the way it's running politics in egypt? >> to some extent yes, but i think there's a bigger problem here. the brotherhood is in full existential mode. they're extremely paranoid. they believe that opposition is out to destroy them. they think liberals are anti- democratic and are out to bring down who they view to be elected and legitimately elected president. so they're very much in that mode of thinking. and that's why essentially one of their justifications for the authoritarian november 22 decree is -- and brotherhood leaders actually told me this -- is yes, we know it looks bad, we know it's kind of anti- democratic, but the normal rules of politics are suspended until future notice because we are in this fundamental turning point, and this is what we have to do.